What Is Rigid Flex PCB and Its Benefits

Rigid flex PCB combines both flexible and rigid circuit boards for different electrical and communication device applications. Since it has both rigidity and flexibility, it often serves the 2-in-1 purpose for industrial applications.

The circuit board’s flexibility allows you to bend the board wherever necessary while maintaining the rigidity at the edges, so it doesn’t get damaged. These circuit boards have slim-profile, and their use is seen mostly in smart jackets, pacemakers, smartphones, etc.

This discussion includes the ABC of what is rigid flex PCB. Also, it consists of the advantages and practical applications of the flexible, rigid PCBs.

So, let’s begin the journey of knowing these ultra-demanding printed circuit boards.

Table of Contents

What Is Rigid Flex Board?

Rigid flex printed circuit boards were initially developed to bypass the limitations of only rigid PCBs. These circuit boards are a hybrid manufacturing with a combination of both rigidity and flexibility at the same point.

The rigid circuit board is converted to the flexible ones by adding multiple layers of flex boards on the rigid substrate.  The flexible boards can be attached both externally and internally. The actual attaching design depends on the printed circuit board application.

The flexible substrates are designed in such a way that it retains the optimal flex capacity. Manufacturers use its flexibility to bend it into different curves to meet their project necessities. Since it has both flexibility and rigidity with the same circuit board, it is usable in versatile sectors. The most common use of these circuit boards is seen in electrical, communication and medical devices where you need miniature forms.

Types of Rigid Flex PCB

You will see two kinds of rigid flex printed circuit boards. These are:

  1. Dynamic flex
  2. Flex to install

The flex to install has minimal flexibility, and you can use it to flex only once during different applications. The flex can be done either during the removal or attachment of the circuit board with the device. The flex board also maintains its stability throughout the entire application. However, when you use the flex to install PCBs for high-vibration uses, it may have the least movement.

The dynamic flex, unlike the flex to install boards, has multiple bending capacities. So, you can bend and fold the circuit board at various times. While manufacturing the dynamic flex circuit boards, you have to be extra cautious to ensure the edges’ rigidity. SFX Rigid Flex PCBs are bent with an appropriate radius circle. You can use it for at least 100 times flex applications. So, our dynamic flex boards are meant to last for extreme usage without issues.

Benefits of Using Rigid Flex PCBs

Rigid flex printed circuit boards are incredibly versatile, although it comes in an expensive budget. However, you can customize these circuit boards for multiple applications in different industries because of their versatility.

The best benefit of these boards is that they are used for both commercial and susceptible applications. It includes commercial applications in cameras, cell phones, etc. On the contrary, you will also see its application in the medical sector, military devices, and aerospace.

Its benefits include-

  1. These boards are incredible shock-resistant. Also, it is protective against high-vibration uses. Thus, the circuit board will survive extreme conditions with big shock and vibration resistance and assure greater durability.
  2. Manufacturers, including SFX PCB, develop these printed circuit boards with high accuracy and precision. Thus, industry experts prefer these boards in dangerous situations where a connection failure can be hazardous. Also, high-precision manufacturing ensures better reliability.
  3. These printed circuit boards are space-saving since it features highly dense design. So, it is usable in the smallest space. It results in lower cost and more margin for other parts for assembling into the device.
  4. The rigidity of these boards makes the assembly safer and easier than the regular flex boards. Thus, you can be more assured with these boards for assembly.
  5. The assembly of these printed circuit boards has been made simple. Its rigidity and flexibility combine for such an easy assembly application.
  6. Rigid flex boards will reduce the overall cost for the assembly applications in different devices. Thus, you will see its use in daily life too.
  7. You can improve the optimization and customization of these circuit boards with developed mechanical complexity. Its tailored application means it is usable in sensitive industries.

Rigid Flex PCB Applications

These circuit boards improve the controlled impedance. Also, it boosts the signal transmission ability of the circuit boards. Furthermore, you will see a considerable reduction in connection problems, including cold joints.

Thus, you will see its use in regular commercial products. Furthermore, you will see its aircraft weapons applications with the guided systems, electrical devices, and medical sectors. The most common uses include-

  • Guided aircraft weapons
  • Cell phones
  • Digital cameras
  • Smart jacket and cloths
  • Pacemakers and CT scanners

Rigid Flex Circuit form SFX PCB Comes with Maximum Customization Facility

SFX PCB manufacturers some of the most advanced and innovative rigid flex circuitry in the market. With over 10+ years of circuit board manufacturing experience, we bring the most detailed works on these boards. You can use them directly on your components instead of spending time building them unnecessarily.

Some of the best capabilities of our rigid flex PCBs are listed in the below table.

Product Details Essential Features
Layers
2 to 16
Thickness
Thickness
Inner layer thickness
3mil
Outer layer thickness
4mil
Impedance control ability
10%
Aspect Ratio
10:01 for mass production; 16:01 for low-volume production
Coating
OSP, immersion silver or tin and ENIG

Final Words

The electronics and communication worlds have advanced leaps and bounds. Similarly, the medical, military, and smartphone industries have seen unimaginable developments. All these improvements have been possible due to the severe progression of the printed circuit board industry. A fair share of such excellent contribution will go too rigid flex PCBs.

We understand their critical applications in compassionate projects. Thus, we always put our best expertise to provide you with the best rigid PCBs in low-volume and bulk amount to meet you project necessities

Peter Gong
Peter Gong

I am Peter Gong. I have been working in PCB and PCBA industry for 15+ years now. I have been a part of the PCB revolution with my dedication to circuit board technologies and creative ideas. I write in FX PCB to impart my knowledge on PCB and PCBA for all circuit board lovers, manufacturers, and users.

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